WAUSAU (WAOW) -- Staying hydrated, avoiding the afternoon sun, and knowing the warning signs of heat illnesses are the best ways to stay safe when exercising this summer according to Abby Schroeder, Registered Nurse at Bridge Community Health Clinic in Wausau.
"The best thing to do is exercise in the morning before it gets too hot" Schroeder told Newsline 9.
The Wausau West Warriors football team is aware of the advice. The squad began practice a week earlier in the summer than last year, but manage by holding practice early in the morning. Doing so allows the team to wrap up work before the sun is at its hottest in the afternoon.
Head Coach Kevin Grundy makes sure players get rest and plenty of water. "It's built right into our practice plan" Grundy said at a Wednesday morning practice. "We have plenty of water stations available and any time players need to be hydrated they get their water."
A typical Warriors practice involves scheduled breaks indoors away from the sun and frequent water breaks.
Though the very young and old are the most vulnerable, even athletes are at risk when heat becomes oppressive. Heat-related illnesses are being linked to the deaths of three high school football players this year. Two in Georgia and a third in South Carolina.
Health experts say that being prepared for the high temperatures by exercising outdoors when it is cooler and knowing the warning signs of heat-related illnesses are very important.
Headaches, suddenly feeling tired, and nausea are all symptoms indicating you've been in the heat too long. The most dangerous sign though is if you stop sweating.
"If they stop sweating you need to get help immediately" said Abby Schroeder, R. N. said. "And if it's too hot, stay inside."
Online Reporter Rob Duns (WAOW)